Cash payout may save Rs 20K cr subsidy bill
“There is no other option. If we have to contain the fiscal deficit, expenditure must be brought down,” an official familiar with the development said.
Government sources said efforts are on to also shrink the subsidy bill by at least 5 per cent with the transition to direct cash transfers.
Though exact savings are difficult to calculate, sources said that the subsidy bill for 2013-14 may be kept at around Rs 1.78 lakh crore as against the Rs 1,90,015 crore budgeted for the current fiscal.
The government plans to roll out Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfers of 29 subsidies in 43 districts from January 1, 2013. While initially limited to payments for scholarships, pension and kerosene and LPG, during the course of the next fiscal, it would also include payments for food and fertiliser subsidies.
While from April 1, 2013, direct cash transfers would be started in 18 states, the whole country would be covered by the end of the fiscal.
Meanwhile, efforts are also on to cut down non-plan spends in the coming fiscal. Preliminary discussions on Budget 2013-14, that were initiated by the finance ministry last month, have thrown up a figure of Rs 8 lakh crore for